Hawai‘i Department of Human Services Director Earns National Recognition

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(L–R) Kelly Harder, chair, APHSA Executive Governing Board; Hawai‘i Department of Human Services Director Pankaj Bhanot; and Tracy Wareing Evans, president and CEO of APHSA. PC: Robb Cohen Photography

Hawai‘i Department of Human Services Director Pankaj Bhanot was recognized last week in Washington, D.C., for his legacy of helping children and families, a May 30, 2019, press release said.

The American Public Human Services Association (APHSA) named Bhanot the State Outstanding Member of the Year.

“Pankaj is an outstanding public servant who’s committed to the well-being of local families, especially the most needy,” said Gov. David Y. Ige. “He has built a unique approach to breaking generational patterns of poverty that addresses the basic health and human services needs of the entire family, rather than doing so in a piece-meal fashion.”


Director Bhanot is one of the few cabinet-level appointees who has risen through the ranks of the state civil service system. He has dedicated his career to the field of human services, starting with the Benefit, Employment and Support Services Division in the Department of Human Services.

During his 20 years working for the department, Bhanot has led business process reengineering, worked to modernize the department’s eligibility systems and improved how the department invests in its staff.

APHSA recognized Director Bhanot at the National Health and Human Services Summit last week in the nation’s capital. He was among other professionals recognized for their impact and achievement on the local, state and national levels.


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